With Potential Vaccines For Cancer, Ebola And Zika, Inovio Could Have An Explosive 2016

Recent news from Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc. (INO), a small-cap biotech developing immunotherapeutic vaccines that target cancer and infectious diseases like news-making viruses Ebola and Zika, has prompted Piper Jaffray analyst Charles Duncan to reiterate his thesis for investment in the company.


In a note published May 9, Duncan noted the company, which is planning a pivotal trial for its cervical dysplasia vaccine, VGX-3100, has enough cash in the coffers to fund its "broadening pipeline" through the end of 2017.

Duncan's assessment follows Inovio's release of Q1/16 earnings, in which the company reported "$8.1 million ($8.1M) in total revenues and $146.8M of cash and equivalents."

The "most impactful share driver" in the near term, Duncan wrote, is initiation of the pivotal Phase 3 trial for VGX-3100. The Phase 3, following on the heels of meetings with the FDA and the European Medicines Agency (EMA), is expected to be "consistently designed with [the company's] successful Phase 2 study."

Company documents note that in Phase 2, VGX-3100 demonstrated an ability to reduce "high-grade cervical dysplasia"—abnormal or precancerous cells on the cervix caused by certain strains of human papillomavirus (HPV)—to disease that is low grade or is undetectable.

Duncan expects enrollment of up to 400 patients in 25 countries in the Phase 3 trial. In a previous note, the analyst noted the company "is ready to produce commercial-grade product"; in addition, the "proprietary" Cellectra 5PSP electroporation device that will deliver the vaccine, called a "key differentiator," will be employed.

The company also has a cervical cancer immunotherapy, INO-3112, partnered with MedImmune, which Duncan expects will enter Phase 2 by year-end 2016. INO-1400, in Phase 1 for breast, lung and pancreatic cancer, is also expected to report "interim immune response data" by year-end.

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1) Tracy Salcedo compiled this article for Streetwise Reports LLC and provides services to Streetwise ...

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